There are a number of essential issues in an employee alcohol and drug testing program. One of the issues is whom to test. People to be tested are inclusive of the whole workforce, potential recruits and possibly employees who are in risky jobs where there is a high probability of personal injury. Testing randomly is not recommended. So as to cushion oneself against legal suits, one should test an employee if there is a specific reason of suspecting an employee of abusing illegal drugs or employees performing tasks in riskier sections of the company.
The second issue is when to carry out the test. An organization can defend itself more better in case of legal suits if its main aim of testing the is to ascertain the safeness of its employees, clients and the society (Michael & Christina, 2007). To alleviate the possibility of lawsuits, organizations should test persons who are in sensitive situations of the organization and may easily harm themselves such as a pilot, or those that perform crucial tasks such as handling firearms; employees who have a history of accidents or offenses; employees on whom an organization leader has strong evidence is abusing prohibited drugs; and employees in or ending their rehab programs.
The third issue is on how to go about in the testing. Several ways are used in the testing including hair, saliva and blood tests, urinalysis, breath-alcohol testing and sweat patches. Despite strong justifications for testing, the organization can be involved in lawsuits on the way the test is conducted. So as to avoid lawsuits, an organization need to know the state and federal laws; be steady on how it handles employees who test positive; offer proof on why the test had to be carried out after every test; maintain confidentiality on the test outcomes and a testing method that doesn’t violate the rights of the employees; and informing their employees on the organization’s drug and alcohol policy and having them sign to give a proof that they have acknowledged.
Carrell, M. R. & Heavrin, C. (2007). Labor relations and collective bargaining: cases, practice, and law. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.